Home Office suggests 3.5 per cent police pay award

Dyfed Powys Police Federation has urged the Home Office to ensure this year’s pay award falls in line with inflation after it emerged public sector workers were set to be offered a 3.5 per cent rise.

The Home Office has made its formal submission to the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) as the 2023/24 pay round gets underway and suggested a 3.5 per cent increase would be affordable. 

The evidence will now be reviewed by the independent pay body which will publish its recommendations when it reports back to ministers in May. 

But with inflation running as high as 10 per cent, a 3.5 per cent increase would mean another real-terms pay cut for police officers against the backdrop of a nationwide cost of living crisis.

And the Police Federation - which withdrew its support from the PRRB two years ago after branding it unfit for purpose - has joined Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley in calling for a double-digit pay award.

Dyfed Powys branch chair Gareth Jones said:  “It doesn’t seem that long ago that our pay and morale survey revealed that many of our members were struggling to make ends meet thanks to price rises and high rates of inflation.

“They have suffered what amounts to a real term pay cut of 28.7 per cent at the lowest end of the scale over the last decade and now it looks like they will be offered more of the same this time round.

“It is not good enough and the Home Secretary, who is always full of praise for the police,  should put her money where her mouth is and make sure our members get a proper pay rise that keeps up with the cost of living.”

Gareth Jones has called for this year's pay rise to match inflation

He continued: “The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has already told the PRRB his officers deserve a 10 per cent increase this year and I would say the same should apply to every police officer across England and Wales.

“Our members want to be recognised and fairly rewarded for the hard work and dedication they put into keeping their communities safe and sound.”

In its written submission to the PRRB, the Home Office said it was working closely with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) on assumptions on pay and other anticipated pressures. 

It said considering the additional funding available from £17.2 billion 2023/24 police funding settlement, and forces seeking to maximise efficiencies, there was scope for forces to budget up to a 3.5 per cent pay award.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman urged the PRRB to take inflation into account before publishing its final recommendations.

She said: “Pay awards must strike a careful balance - recognising the vital importance of public sector workers while delivering value for the taxpayer, considering private sector pay levels, not increasing the country's debt further and being careful not to drive prices even higher in the future.

“In the current economic context, it is particularly important that pay review bodies have regard to the Government's inflation target when forming recommendations.”